Will Taxing High Fructose Corn Syrup Fight Obesity?

Will Taxing High Fructose Corn Syrup Fight Obesity?


We were kicking around a number of ideas on the panel about how you might approach the obesity problem from a marketing point of view. One point I was making was in terms of the pricing and incentives and so forth is that there are people out there now who are talking about you know why don’t we simply put a snack food tax on everything? And just be charging people more money if they want to purchase food high in sugar. That really doesn’t go up the stream and we start really having a big policy impact.
It is, if you will just another way of blaming the victims for the fact that they eat these things we’re just gonna charge them more and be very aggressive about it. One of the more important things to think about from a pricing point of view is how do we start charging a tax on high fructose corn syrup? It’s how all those calories enter the food supply through the manufacturing production of food that I think is a much more critical issue for the ordinary consumer. If we tax high fructose corn syrup we’re not taxing consumers as much as we are the manufacturers. And the result of that is they’ve got two choices, they’re either going to be passing on the increased price of the fructose corn syrup to the consumer or they’re gonna come up with some new ways of improving their product that doesn’t have corn syrup in it and hopefully is also means it won’t have as many calories in it. I think it really does come down to you know
how do you mobilize the people who are interested in this issue to get focused on the corn syrup issue, to get focused on the idea that if you’re gonna go with a tax think about the tax at the source and not the tax at the point of consumption. I think that’s where you can start using the market principles to bring together a movement around that kind of issue and possibly even you know get various types of players in the food marketplace to say they support those types of things that will be a big challenge and that will be a
big fight but I think that’s one of the fights that’s worth having and talking about. Then it really becomes a question you
know what kind of grounds can you build among people who are actively engaged in the nutrition education and obesity movement to say this becomes important for us to take forth Tobacco regulations didn’t come about because policymakers thought it was a good idea that came about because there were literally millions of people around the country who said at the local level and at the state level we’re going to do something about this
even if you won’t.

4 thoughts on “Will Taxing High Fructose Corn Syrup Fight Obesity?

  1. OK.. the federal government subsidizes corn farmers.. paying them to grow more corn than we can use.. which means extremely cheap corn syrup. They use tax dollars to make corn syrup cheap, then they want to slap taxes on it AGAIN to keep people from using it? It's Asinine! When will people realize how bad they're getting the shaft?

  2. All they have to due is repeal the subsidizing of this crop. It's causing people to demand larger portions and making the US look ignorant and the laughing stock of the developed world.

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